Is Hockey the National Sports of India?

We the people of India have always been the flagbearers of many diverse sports and have thus, maintained the undying spirit and glory of sports. This way we carry forward the rich legacy that our ancestors have established. Though India does not have a national sport, there are two sports that have stood out throughout history. The pre-independence era saw Hockey as the most popular sport. Its immense popularity led many of us to believe that it was our national sport. But this was also justified since we were in fact excellent in it. The years from 1928 to 1956 are to this date considered to be the golden period of the Indian Hockey team. The Indian men’s team remained unbeaten in the Olympics, gaining six gold medals in a row. Our team has won a total of eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals in Olympics. Some years after the independence India saw the rise of Cricket. The credit of the emergence of cricket and as the new popular sport is of course given to our colonisers the Britishers. But, what was even more surprising was when we beat them at their own game by winning the world cup title twice (once in 1983 and the next in 2011) while they haven’t been able to do that even once. Other than this we maintain top ranks in all formats of the game and we have so many achievements in cricket that it is impossible to mention even some of them in this article. Though we still lack in football the popularity and awareness has somewhat started to increase, owing to the onslaught of the Indian Super League (ISL) and other tournaments. Other than these we have excelled in many other individual and team sports like boxing, badminton, tennis, shooting, wrestling, gymnastics, athletics, table tennis and Basketball. This has been possible by the extraordinary efforts shown by great sportspersons like Sachin Tendulkar, Dhyan Chand, M.S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Milkha Singh, Mary Kom, P.T. Usha, Dipa Karmakar, Abhinav Bindra, Mahavir Phogat and many others. It would be unfair to not mention the efforts made by the entertainment industry in increasing the popularity of sports in India. Movies like Chak De! India, Dangal, Iqbal, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Paan Singh Tomar, have greatly contributed to this. Thus, we should believe with utmost confidence that we indeed have a promising future in the field of sports and it is in our hands that we sustain and grow the spirit and glory of sports.